Hubble Views an Active Star-Forming Galaxy

The gas and dust that permeates space exerts pressure on a galaxy as it moves. This resistance, called ram pressure, can strip a galaxy of its star-forming gas and dust, reducing or even stopping the creation of new stars. However, ram pressure can also compress gas in other parts of the galaxy, which can boost star formation. This may be happening in IC 3476. The galaxy appears to have absolutely no star formation along its edges, which bear the brunt of the ram pressure stripping, but star formation rates deeper within the galaxy are noticeably above average. 

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